This year, the DreadBrewer and I decided to make the (very expensive) leap into kegging as opposed to bottling our homebrew.
Anyone who has bottled beer in their kitchen will agree with me that it is the messiest, most obnoxious, most time consuming, and most irritating process ever. And then, when you’re done bottling, you still have to wait at least a week if not longer for the bottles to carbonate. Total pain in the ass.
We had talked about switching to kegging for years (probably since we bottled our first batch of homebrew way back in 2010) but had never really committed due to the cost and space involved. Well, we finally bit the bullet and all I can say is – why didn’t we do this sooner!?!?
Using the video from Northern Brewer as a guide, we undertook to build our own keezer. (That’s a keg-freezer (keezer) rather than a keg-refrigerator (kegerator).) This was a process that actually took quite a bit longer than we would have anticipated, but hey, that’s the way a lot of things go in homebrewing.
Here are some pictures from the process:
We are currently carbonating our first two beers (the Heady Topper and the Toast Clone) and I, for one, can’t wait until they’re ready to go! (I think it’s just a few more days; the DreadBrewer is being slightly conservative with the CO2 as I think he doesn’t want to blow us up.) Our keezer should ideally hold 4 x 5 gallon kegs, although we may need to move the CO2 tanks outside to accommodate the fourth keg.
I will say that, at first, we didn’t realize that you had to put a wooden collar on to hold your taps. This makes total sense as you don’t want to drill holes through the coils surrounding your beer, but there were some tense moments when we realized our kegs wouldn’t fit in the keezer. Luckily, the addition of the 2 1/2″ collar solved that problem and crisis was averted.
There was also a big SNAFU where the keg company sent us two nice Italian kegs and two crap Indian kegs, saying that they were essentially the same thing. The Indian ones were obviously not as well constructed and, after much debate, we decided to return those and order more Italian ones elsewhere. Because if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it right. (This is another reason why the leap into kegging was so expensive for us. The DreadBrewer is not one to compromise and purchase what he considers inferior supplies just to save a few bucks. All I can say is – this thing better last forever.)
So there you have it! Our very successful “Build Our Own Keezer” project. I think our success hinged entirely upon the Littlest Brewster’s help, don’t you?